Wednesday, February 10, 2016

How good has Cliff Lee been?

...Almost as good as Justin Verlander.

How good has Cliff Lee been?

Cliff Lee has three shutouts in his last three starts. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Cliff Lee has three shutouts in his last three starts. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

...Almost as good as Justin Verlander.

Here are the stats for both aces in the month of June:

Cliff Lee (PHI) 5-0 42.0 3 3 21 1 8 29 0.21 0.69
Justin Verlander (DET)* 5-0 42.0 2 1 22 4 4 48 0.86 0.62

Both pitchers have thrown the same amount of innings. Cliff Lee has allowed 21 hits and eight walks, while Verlander has allowed 22 hits and four walks. It's almost a dead pick 'em. The only real difference is in ERA and strikeouts.

Both pitchers are known for racking up the K's, so it's surprising that Verlander has so many more. And given Lee's tendency to control the strike zone, Verlander's edge in walks might be even more surprising. Still, take your pick.

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All the talk lately has been about how dominate Lee has been. I feel like Verlander has gotten lost in the shuffle. I don't want to diminish the significance of the three consecutive shutouts by Lee, but Verlander has been nearly as untouchable.

When it comes to fantasy (assuming shutouts aren't a scoring category in your league), I would actually take Verlander's numbers.

Sorry, Cliff. Just try to be better in July...

*Verlander has one more start in the month, Thursday against the Mets. He didn't have a good start against them the last time he faced them, but with the hot streak he's on, maybe he can cool off the suddenly hot Met's lineup.

Matt Mullin is a sports producer at You can reach him by e-mail at Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin

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